Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ultimately it is not about money

Recently I've been reading about financial planning. I am not a book person, instead of books, I read about some blogs whose authors describe their journey of growing wealth. Learn a lot from these readings.

An important concept in financial planning is deciding between wants and needs. Even though this is subjective, most if not all understand that money is not everything. A purpose of growing one's wealth is to have good life, not to have huge numbers to describe how wealthy one is. Thus, it is unwise to go too much towards one extreme where one minimized his wants, and even needs.

I think there are important things that shouldn't wait. I think many people in Singapore waiting for a new HDB flat for starting family is a terrible waste of time and life, not only one's, but spouse, future children and parents time/life. Thus, I view starting family as early as possible is a need, an important need.

It is good to plan and prepare, but don't over do it and take note of the time urgency. I think the current education system has already wasted everyone too much time to learn too many redundant things, but yet missed out many essential things untouched on, resulting in many people not ready to start family at advanced age (i.e. > 23), while 18 - 25 seems more ideal for pregnancy.

Specific to Singapore situation, I would rather rent or buy a small resale unit first rather than delaying marriage. An advantage of getting one first is that you will have much better idea how you would prefer for a long term place to live in. May also consider bank loan if you are very sure it is for a few years (may also choose not to have grant) and still have 2 opportunities to loan from HDB at concession rate.

"Buying" a resale HDB flat for a short while is not really "buying" as in an expenditure. It is sort of like buying gold where value remain or even appreciate. Furthermore, it forces one to start one's installment early, which I think one should start to make installment/savings for property once it is clear that it is needed. For e.g., if one has a few siblings and parents' house/flat is clearly not enough for all of them, then it is clear that one will need a property to stay in the future.

Thus, don't grow one's wealth for the sake of growing it, and neglect the more important needs/wants such as marriage/family/children/etc.

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